Cheers! My Birthday Celebration with the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

After losing my grandmother a few weeks before my birthday, I really needed to celebrate life. I know she would want me to do that. This year, I decided to ring in a new year of life in wine country. My soror traveled up from So Cal to visit. This would be her first time in Napa. I didn’t want to drive so instead, we bought bus tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours.

Let me tell you something, going on this bus tour was one of the BEST decisions I made. The Napa Valley Wine Country Tours bus isn’t just any bus. It’s a limo bus that looks like a VIP club lounge on wheels. We paid $119 for an 8-hour trip, visit to 4 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, continental breakfast and lunch. It was worth every penny. The tastings aren't covered in the bus fare, but they ran about $10-$25. Wineries won't charge you for tastings if you buy a bottle. I recommend this for tourists and any Bay Area locals who have folks visiting from out of town and want a short excursion to Nap…

Remembering 9/11 and the World's Oldest Person

Gertrude Baines, 115

The world oldest person died this morning right here in LA. Gertrude Baines was 115 years old. According to the AP she met with her doctor a few days ago. Her only complaints were arthritis pain and soggy bacon served at the nursing home. Baines liked watching "Jerry Springer Show" and eating ice cream. She voted for Barack Obama in November. Can you imagine what that must have meant to her? This woman witnessed the decades right after abolition, the rise of the KKK, Civil Rights Movement, Black Power Movement, Feminist Movement, etc. Yet, she lived long enough to vote for the first black U.S. president. Amazing. I've read her mind was still sharp. Maybe I need to start watching Jerry Springer. Read more of Getrude Baines' story from the AP here.

September 11, 2001

The ignorance and fierce debating going on over Pres. Obama's health care plan has made me think about 9/11. Our country changed dramatically eight years ago this day. The attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon brought us together. It reminded us that our powerful country wasn't invincible and we needed to strengthen our homeland security. We feared flying and riding trains and buses. Our threat levels were coded in the colors red, orange and yellow. There was another threat level color spoken among us-brown. Muslim Americans, to this day, are subject to racial profiling and discrimination because their faces reflect those of the hijackers and Osama Bin Laden. Then the war in Iraq, that was meant for retaliation, pushed us far apart. Some of us disagreed Iraq was right place to jump start the War on Terror. While some of us backed Pres. Bush and believed in his strategy. Here we are today, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continues. The right and left are still beefing. Hopefully today, we can put our differences aside and remember those who gave their lives voluntarily and involuntarily. Mothers, fathers, children, fire fighters, security guards, pilots, brothers, sisters, executives, husbands, wives, cashiers, police officers, etc died on 9/11. And many soldiers have given their lives since. Let's go back to that day when it wasn't about blue state or red state. Right or Left. Independent, Republican or Democrat. Let's go back to the day when we were all Americans. Remember?